Sammis Reyes, first Chilean in the NFL, retires due to the aftermath of a concussion

Chilean Sammis Reyes, who played for the Commanders, Bears, and Jaguars, announced his retirement from the courts due to a concussion he suffered in late July during Jacksonville’s training camp.

“I’m making this video because two weeks ago I suffered a concussion that has persisted for a little longer than I expected. Today I am here with mixed emotions because I have decided to retire from the NFL,” Reyes said in a video he posted on his social networks.

The 27-year-old tight end was preparing to make a spot in the 2023 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but two weeks ago he suffered a concussion that prevented him from being active in the team’s first preseason game, Aug. 12 against the Dallas Cowboys.

This situation led his team to enroll offensive tackle Bobby Evans on the roster for the season.

The official decision showed the exit door to the former basketball player since his name was automatically on the list of reserves and retirees.


“After seven days without sleep and having painful symptoms, I realized this wasn’t doing me and my family any good, so I decided to retire,” she explained.

Sammis Reyes was the first Chilean in history to play in the NFL and the concussion suffered was the third major injury he had during his time in the NFL.

Reyes came to the league via the International Player Pathway Program, a program that seeks talent from around the world and gives them the opportunity to develop in the league.

“When I was 23 I decided to give myself 365 days to see if I could make it to the NFL. That’s when the league’s international talent acquisition program saw me; a few months later the Washington Commanders signed me. It was a dream come true,” he shared.


In his farewell, the Talcahuano native detailed how he came to the United States at age 14 with a scholarship to play basketball.

“I left everything behind, family, friends and my parents, of course. A lot has happened since that moment, but if you told that 14-year-old boy that he would be the first Chilean in history to make it to the NFL, that kid wouldn’t believe it.”

After the Commanders, Reyes was with the Chicago Bears practice squad in 2022. That year he was projected to play with the Jaguars.

“It hurts me not to know how far my talent would have taken me, but I know one thing, I would never forgive myself for not being able to be the same husband, the same son, the same friend as the person I was before if I do not take care of my health,” concluded Reyes, who played 11 games in his time in the league.

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